The Seattle Mariners’ search for a manager, while far from complete, has reached the getting-serious stage with five known candidates, including one whose name took on a little higher profile for the opening on Wednesday.
Bobby Valentine, the colorful former manager of the Texas Rangers, New York Mets and Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, withdrew from consideration for the Florida Marlins’ managerial opening.
That alone doesn’t make Valentine any more of a favorite for the M’s job than he was but it lessens the competition.
Besides the Mariners and Marlins, there are managerial openings with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays.
Valentine interviewed with the Mariners this week, as did former Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper and former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. By the end of the week, the Mariners also are expected to have interviewed former Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon and ex-Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge.
A report on SI.com said the Mariners also were considering White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, Red Sox coaches Demarlo Hale and Tim Bogar, and Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, who was the Mariners’ pitching coach from 2001-2006.
Cora, however, told Jim Street of MLB.com that the Mariners haven’t contacted him.
Mariners second base prospect Dustin Ackley suffered a finger injury in the second game of the Arizona Fall League season when he was hit by a line drive in the Peoria Javelinas’ 7-4 victory over the Surprise Rafters.
A line drive in the second inning by Johnny Giavotella deflected off Ackley’s glove, leaving him with what the Mariners initially diagnosed as a sprained finger. The M’s don’t believe it’s serious and say Ackley may miss a few games.
Mariners infielder Matt Tuiasosopo and outfielder Ryan Langerhans are recovering well and should be ready for spring training in February after each had minor elbow operations last week.
Tuiasosopo had loose bodies removed from his right elbow, and Langerhans had a similar procedure on his left elbow.